Sri Lanka shares slid nearly 3% and settled lower for a second consecutive session on Thursday as stocks across the board lost ground after the central bank held interest rates steady at a policy meeting.

The CSE All-Share index closed 2.9% lower at 8,173.86.21.

However, the index is still up 0.93% so far this week and the stock market clocked a 9% gain last week, although trading was suspended for two days following violent clashes between protesters and government supporters across the country.

Sri Lanka's economic crisis, unparalleled since its independence in 1948, has come from the confluence of the pandemic, rising oil prices and populist tax cuts by the country's president and former prime minister.

On Thursday, Sri Lanka's central bank governor said it had secured foreign exchange to pay for fuel and cooking gas shipments that will ease crippling shortages.

The central bank governor, who had told reporters on May 11 he would resign in two weeks in the absence of political stability, on Thursday said the island nation was more politically and economically stable and he would stay on.

The crisis-hit nation's new prime minister in a televised address on Monday said Sri Lanka had to face "unpleasant and terrifying facts".

The equity market turnover was 1.60 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($4.51 million) on Thursday.

Trading volume fell to 69.2 million shares from 268 million shares in the previous session

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, selling shares worth 42.4 million rupees, while domestic investors were net buyers, buying around 1.56 billion rupees worth of shares, according to exchange data

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)